Calf Pain in Runners by Luci Minogue

Calf pain is a common complaint in runners. If your pain has come on gradually and is spread out over the muscle it may be an overuse injury, whereby pain is caused by fatigue in the muscle, as opposed to a sudden onset of pain during push off in running which may be an acute muscle tear. This overuse injury is called Biomechanical Overload Syndrome and is an injury most commonly seen in deconditioned runners between 40-60 years of age. Other risk factors may include a change in training load, muscle weakness, previous calf injury, stress or lack of sleep.

Assessment by your Physio will include

  • Observation of your posture and calf muscle.
  • Muscle strength testing such as how many calf raises you can do before you experience pain or fatigue.
  • Strength testing of other leg muscles.
  • Ankle movement.
  • Palpation (a feel) of the calf muscle.

Treatment for calf muscle overload is focused on increasing the capacity of the muscle to handle the load you are putting on it during running. It may also include modification to your training schedule and running technique so you are not aggravating your pain.

If you have calf pain and would like to book a Physiotherapy Assessment with one of our Physios please contact InnerStrength of Bayside on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE.

How do you take care of YOU while undergoing cancer treatment?

As Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapists, Luci and Emily have met many patients and their loved ones at a very stressful and uncertain time.  Taking the best possible care of yourself while undergoing cancer treatment can help you cope and feel better during each stage of treatment and once the treatments are completed.

Here are 10 tips we recommend to help people going through cancer treatment:

1) Listen to your medical team, not Dr Google. Every single person’s cancer is different — even those diagnosed as the same type and stage. People respond very differently to treatment and need individualised rehabilitation to suit them. Burning mental cycles by speculating and comparing your situation to others is a waste of time and energy.

2) See a certified Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapist EARLY to get advice on how to maximise your recovery and what you can do to prepare yourself for upcoming treatment. It is empowering to be proactive and take control of the things you CAN control.

Know how to help yourself.

3) Learn to ask for and accept help; you can pay it forward later. A cancer rehabilitation physiotherapist will guide you on what activities, house work or exercise you can safely do and what you should ask for help with while your body is recovering from surgery or during treatment.

Often we put ourselves last, but this is a time to look after yourself.

4) Get pain, swelling, pins and needles, signs of infection and stiffness assessed early. Addressing signs and symptoms early can save a lot of time and money later, improve your recovery time and prevent long-term problems.

5) Learn to breathe properly. It takes a huge amount of emotional energy to cope with a cancer diagnosis. This often disrupts normal breathing patterns, which can in turn make it more difficult to relax, sleep well and cope with treatment. A cancer rehabilitation or breathing works physio can teach you how to breathe better again.

6) Avoid inactivity- move your body. Any kind of physical activity can be helpful, even if it isn’t moderate or vigorous intensity. Short sessions help. If you don’t have the time or energy for a long exercise session, go for shorter periods. The health benefits of several short, 10-minute segments are similar to those of one longer exercise session. The type, intensity and duration of exercise may need to change from what you have previously done and a cancer rehabilitation physiotherapist can design a safe and effective exercise prescription for you to do during treatment.

7) Be proactive in your rehabilitation, it can help reduce the short and long term side effects of treatment. For example, by doing appropriate stretches throughout your radiation therapy, you can help reduce the impact on your function and range of motion.

e.g. radiation in the arm pit region for breast cancer will affect the skin and structures under the arm. Stretches will make it less likely to get issues with the arm such as tightness and weakness.

8) Make YOU a priority, probably for the first time in your life. Self-care is not selfish or a luxury; it’s a necessity for you right now. Save your energy for activities that will help your body heal and feel better.

9) Set your intentions on the future.  Keep a journal. Plan for the future and talk out loud about the things you’re going to do after treatment. It is important to look forward.

10) Take time to enjoy at least something every day and stay connected to friends and family that can help you do this.

InnerStrength of Bayside Physiotherapists Luci Minogue and Emily Smyth are both Certified Pinc Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapists. For more information on the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Programs, please click here.



Meet our June work experience student – Caitlyn!

Hi, my name is Caitlyn and I have spent the past 4 days at InnerStrength of Bayside. I have had an amazing experience here at InnerStrength. As I entered through the doors each day, all the employees were incredibly nice and welcoming, especially my supervisor, Emily. Starting off I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, however Emily was really a blessing because she treated me well and always made sure I was occupied with something interesting to do. I had the opportunity to observe patients undergoing treatment as well as the techniques used for Physiotherapy and the use of Pilates equipment. Initially I found myself hesitant to ask questions, but Emily made me feel at ease as she continued to explain details of her patients’ injuries and recovery plans as well as asking if I had any questions. Emily also helped me understand all the ‘physio lingo’, which deepened my knowledge.

During my work experience at InnerStrength I have learnt many things, such as, what is required to help rehabilitate injuries, nerves and muscles within the body and that everyone has a story, plus much more!

Highlight of my week: I have thoroughly enjoyed learning how people recover from serious injuries. I met a man named Trent who tragically got hit by a car around 4-5 months ago. He is so positive and motivated to recover successfully. Trent was kind enough to let me sit in on his sessions and it was awesome! I really learnt a lot from his sessions; how his life is slowly being put back together and how he is rehabilitating since his accident. He has really bounced back and it’s inspiring to see!

I’d like to thank everyone at InnerStrength of Bayside for the amazing experience I’ve had this past week, especially Emily for being a fantastic supervisor and showing me the ins & outs of the profession.


Winter is the Loveliest Time to Swim Outdoors. By Lara Syme.


As I bought my entry ticket from a cold looking lady behind the counter, who was wearing a big puffer jacket and gloves, I considered going home back to my warm bed! But then I looked at the sign on the wall, updated just an hour ago, clearly stating that the outside pool is 27.7 Degrees Celsius. I pushed through the gate, and from there habit kicked in. I have the place I always leave my bag, I wear my thongs right up to the edge and by that point there is no turning back. I inch my way down the ladder rungs and smile at the other Swimmers. We all smile in winter, because it is so much warmer in the pool than it is outside in the cold solstice depths of Melbourne’s morning. We also smile because we have a lane to ourselves! It seems ludicrous that such phenomenal facilities can be subsidised by our city council! Where else in the world could you swim in a public 50 m pool within a few kilometers of the CBD for $6.50!

The Australian Bureau of Statistics have released a study of Australian’s participation in sport                                    ( ). They found that participation “in all months of the year” in jogging and running (73%) and weight training (70%) was particularly high, as was participation in aerobics, fitness and gym activities (65%) and cycling (66%). But swimming was the activity that people were least likely to have participated in throughout the year (39%).

As a Physio I find Swimming is a sport that I am often suggesting to Patients who are eager to stay active whilst carrying a lower limb injury or an injury that is sensitive to load. And I find it is a polarising suggestion, it is either snapped up with enthusiasm and discussions on stroke and distance or out rightly rejected. When it is rejected I need to sometimes get creative with my exercise suggestions and Physiotherapist lead Pilates often gets a mention, because we individually create a program for each of our patients according to their needs and we are good at not aggravating injuries.

But for people who are not carrying an injury, my best advice is to mix it up. Differing the type of exercise you do reduces the chances of developing overuse injuries and often leaves you with more functionally useful strength. Take every opportunity that presents to move your body, every way, every day!

Reducing The Risk of Cancer- What The Evidence Suggests by Emily Smyth

In recent years, a lot of research has been done into the cause of Cancer and how likely it is to occur in different populations. There are many things which we can’t control such as genes, exposure to chemicals and environment. However, several controllable daily habits can play a role.

Cancer research UK last year suggested that smoking, diet, obesity and alcohol are responsible for 100,000 Cancers each year. That is one third of the Cancers diagnosed last year in the UK. These numbers are frighteningly large and indicate the importance of living a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce your risk of Cancer.  There is substantial evidence that poor diet, smoking and exposure to the Sun is dangerous and hence, people are made more aware of these. Smoking packets have educational pictures on them. We are encouraged to use high factor sun cream via adverts on the television and radio. Inactivity, alcohol consumption and increased body weight are all lifestyle factors which we often don’t associate with Cancer however they are significantly linked.

Recent studies suggest that alcohol intake can increase the occurrence of breast cancer by up to 33%. This study showed that women who drank more than 7 alcoholic drinks per week had a 33% higher chance of breast cancer than their counterparts who drank less than 4. However, the studies also suggest that your risk increases as your alcoholic intake increases, with those who have as little as 3 drinks per week only having a 15% chance of breast cancer. These studies, in my opinion, highlight the need for education and awareness. While drinking is often an integral part of one’s social life, knowing about these serious side effects may encourage you to decrease the amount you drink per week.

An active lifestyle has been substantially linked with a decreased risk of colon, breast and endometrial cancer ( with less substantial but positive results indicating the same of multiple other forms of cancer. While many people struggle to include exercise into their daily lives, often people don’t fully understand the health benefits associated. Exercise is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality (inclusive and exclusive of Cancer). I believe that if the benefits of exercise were turned into medication it would be the worlds most used medication. By including just 30 minutes of exercises 4 to 5 times a week, you can decrease the chances of Cancer. With such clear evidence supporting these findings, exercise is defiantly something we should all try to include in our lives.

Overall it is clear that while we cannot completely eliminate the risk of getting Cancer, there are a few things we can do to help reduce our chances. Healthy eating, exercise and reducing alcoholic intake are all well researched and documented ways to reduce your risk.


The Injured Runner by Luci Minogue

Running is a popular form of exercise and running injuries are commonly seen by Physiotherapists. Apart from a pair of runners and your clothes, nothing else is needed. Be careful though if you are new to this form of exercise, as novice runners are 2.5 times more likely to become injured than experienced runners. If you are obese and a novice then you are at the highest risk, especially if you begin running more than 3 km in the first week.

There are a variety of factors which will lead to a running injury, including structural factors i.e. the way you are built, the way you run, training loads, tissue quality, physiology, genetics and psycho-social reasons such as stress.

Many injuries occur in the preparation to a race and some common running injuries are:

  • Pain around the knee cap (Patellofemoral Pain)
  • Stress fractures of the shin bone (tibia)
  • Pain to the outside of the knee caused by a long tendon running down the outside of the thigh (Iliotibial Band Syndrome)
  • Achilles pain (tendinopathy)

Some common running deviations that may lead to an injury include:

1) One hip drops and the weight bearing knee deviates inwards towards the other knee. This is known as Medial Collapse and can lead to many lower limb injuries of the knee, ankle and foot.

2) Landing too far in front of the body. This is known as Overstriding and can lead to knee and foot injuries.

3) Feet landing too close to the midline known as Crossover.



A home strengthening program prescribed by your Physiotherapist is important and will help to prevent injury. It has been found though, that this alone does not always lead to an improvement in running style. Rehabilitation must also focus on giving feedback whilst running, perhaps through video whilst on a treadmill, to improve running technique.

To prevent the hip drop and knee deviation seen in Medial Collapse Mechanics simple cues such as “keep your hips level” and “push your knee out to the wall” can help. An Overstrider can address this by learning to increase their step rate, whilst Crossover gait can be addressed through feedback running over a straight line or increasing step rate. All these types of gait retraining will in turn decrease symptoms.

Please contact us on 8555 4099 or Book Online to discuss your running concerns with one of our Physiotherapists.

Incontinence by Emily Smyth

Incontinence is a topic often shied away from in our daily life. Few people like to admit they suffer from this problem. Many will not speak about it and find it an uncomfortable area to address. Many even are under the impression that it is normal to have incontinence to a mild degree. In face it is not a problem that we should live with and it is not a normal part of pregnancy or aging.

In modern society there is a lot of emphasis on promotion of products. There are incontinent pads advertised on the TV, the radio and even popping up in different television programs where they speak about needing and using them. While many people applaud this as an invitation to speak about this ‘taboo’ topic and encourage openness, unfortunately this type of promotion also acts to normalise a problem which is not ‘normal’ and is something you should not have to live with.  Leaking is not ‘normal’. It is not part of ageing and it is not something we should live with just because you are a mother.

There are plenty of home exercises which a Physiotherapist can prescribe to improve your incontinence. Sometimes adding in these simple exercises in throughout the day can make a significant improvement to your quality of life. If you have any concerns it is always worth a trip to a  physio who can give you further advice.

Should I do Yoga or Pilates? By Lara Syme

Lara doing yoga

I found myself, asking myself just this question this week. I have negotiated a week night where I leave my husband with an unbathed, hungry and overtired baby…. And come home to a baby who is fast asleep, contently fed and smelling of roses… and if I’m really lucky the house will be clean and our dinner almost cooked. That last part is just a fantasy!

Anyway, I need to constantly work on my strength and fitness. I have a physical job and over my 12 years working as a Physio, I have seen my colleagues progressively drop like flies from our profession, because their bodies just can’t take the constant leaning over a treatment bed, leaning down to change springs, supporting patients as they walk etc.

Now I have a baby who is getting heavier and heavier and still needs carrying and lifting. I want to be that Mum who gives “horsey rides” and ducks into low tunnels at the playground…. Actually, my dream is to continue playing weekly basketball long enough, for my daughter to be able to join the team I started in 2003 – fingers crossed!

There are so many factors that influence how I would advise a Patient in this decision. Here are some key considerations:

1. Know your body – are you injured? If so there may be key Yoga poses that you may find painful or irritating to your condition. Of course there are Pilates exercises that may irritate your condition too. However at InnerStrength we pride ourselves on creating an individualised program for each patient – you will rarely find another person in your class doing the same Clinical Pilates exercise as you. This allows us to avoid prescribing exercises that aren’t what your body needs.

2. Get to know the Instructor – an experienced and interested Instructor will be able to modify all Pilates and Yoga classes to your bodies’ requirements.

3. How big is the class? Even the most dedicated teacher is going to struggle to cater to individual needs, if your class has more than 5-6 participants in a class.

4. Which do you enjoy more? Everyone knows you are more likely to stick with exercise that you enjoy. Exercise that you wake up excited about and exercise, that when you go to bed that night, makes you feel that little bit stronger.

5. Can you do both? There may be no need to choose! Why not do both! My career has demonstrated to me, time and time again, that a varied exercise regime is the key to staying strong, staying engaged and avoiding overuse injuries.

After considerable deliberation, and because I can only negotiate one night off a week, I decided that the best answer to this question for me, is to do weekly Physio led Clinical Pilates in a small class with an inspiring teacher and let my Private Health fund pay for it!

But I also do Yoga twice a week while my baby is napping, I try to watch You Tube Yoga class videos – there is an excellent 38 min “Intermediate Yoga Class”, that I do time and time again but always feel challenged by it.

If you would like to talk to one of our Clinical Pilates Instructors about your strength goals or if you would like to get to know of some great places to do Yoga, just give us a call 8555 4099.

Acting Your Age By Lara Syme


I had dinner with my Grandfather last week. He will turn 100 years old in May 2017. He was telling me casually about how he slipped  while getting out of the shower the day before. He lay on the floor for a minute or so thinking “should I call out for help?” Then he decided he wasn’t in any pain, nothing was broken, so he just “got up” and continued doing whatever he was about to do.
Physios rarely get to hear these stories. When anybody over the age of 70 falls in the shower…. I think about is broken hips…. or lying on the floor for hours before being rescued.
I love that my Grandfather doesn’t act his age. I admire that he can get up from the floor when so many elderly and not so elderly people can’t!
I’m lucky to be a Physio, because my job brings me into contact with so many people who defy the stereotypes attached to aging.
From what I can glean, it seems the key to aging well is to “never acting your age”. Maybe that will be my New Years resolution!

5 Practical Ways to Reduce Jaw Pain. By Lara Syme


At InnerStrength of Bayside we have Physiotherapists with a special interest in treating the Jaw, especially when it is contributing to headaches. We employ experienced Physios who have done extensive additional training and reading about the treatment and rehabilitation of the Jaw. So, if your jaw is giving you trouble call to make an appointment 8555 4099.
Here are some things that you can do to help to reduce your Jaw pain.
1. Eat softer foods, this is a short term strategy for while your pain is flared up. Eating softer food is to the Jaw, what crutches are to lower limb injuries – it gives your Jaw a rest. This is an especially good idea if you find chewing painful. There are several websites with specific recipes for soft food diets. At the very least avoiding very crunchy or chewy food is likely to be helpful.
2. Try to reduce the amount of Jaw clenching that you do when awake. Set up cues to remind you to check if you are clenching.
3. Improve your posture. Hunching through your neck and shoulders changes the position of the Jaw and makes it work in a less than ideal way. Your Physio can give you exercises to strengthen the required muscles and tape you, to hold you in a better position.
4. Have your Physio look at your pillow and check that it is the right size for you. Sleeping position, like sitting position can have a big effect on the Jaw.
5. Experiment with heat packs and ice packs over the most painful places, always wrapped in a towel. See which gives you more relief and where. Communicate this to your Physio at your first appointment.
Please call us on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE to make an appointment for your Jaw pain.

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